Lunar Hijri Months
Ramaḍān (Arabic: رمضان) or Ramaḍān al-Mubārak (Arabic: رمضان المبارک) is the 9th month of Hijri calendar. It is obligatory for every Muslim to fast all the days of this month. In the Qur'an, this month is mentioned as the month in which this book was revealed to the Prophet (s). The Night of al-Qadr is in this month. This is the only month whose name is explicitly mentioned and praised in the Qur'an. Also, 21st of this month marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam 'Ali (a).
Among the most important recommended practices in this month are reciting the Qur'an, observing night vigil at the three possible nights of al-Qadr, praying, repenting, giving Iftar meals to others and helping the needy.
This month is greatly revered by Muslims and is considered their month of worship and the faithfuls prepare themselves spiritually in the previous months of Rajab and Sha'ban to begin this month prepared and ready to receive its blessings.
The name of "Ramadan" is derived from the Arabic root form "r-m-d" (Arabic: رَمَضَ) meaning "heating up" and "burning". Some philologists believe the reason behind choosing the word "Ramadan" for the month was the hot weather of the month (at the time of the coinage) and is not related to the fasting, because the month was named Ramadan before Islam.
In the Qur'an
Ramadan is the only month mentioned in the Qur'an and revered;
|“||The month of Ramadan is one in which the Qur'an was sent down as guidance to mankind, with manifest proofs of guidance and the Criterion. So let those of you who witness it fast [in] it||”|
|— The Qur'an 2:185|
In hadiths, this month is referred to in different ways such as in the following;
- "Ramadan" is one of the names of God.
- If the value of this month is known by people, they wish the whole year was Ramadan.
- It is the month of forgiveness and if one's sins are not forgiven in this month, there is not much hope in forgiveness of them in rest of the year.
- The month of God.
- The month of divine mercy and forgiveness.
- The month of burning sins.
- The month during which the gates of the Heavens are open.
- The month of double rewards.
- The spring of the Qur'an.
- The month during which the gates of hell are closed.
- The month during which the gates of the Paradise open.
- The month in which devils are chained.
- It is the month in which the great sound will be heard as a sign of the appearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a) according to some hadiths. Some hadiths have reported of solar eclipse to happen on 13th or 14th of this month and a lunar eclipse on 25th of the same month unexpectedly.
- It is the month in which the glorious Qur'an, the New Testament, the Torah, the Ten Commandments and the Psalms have been sent down.
Beginning and the End
- Main article: Moon Sighting
Like other months of the Hijri Calendar which begin by sighting the new moon, Ramadan begins and ends either when 30 days have passed from the beginning of the month or when the crescent of the new moon is seen. Moon sighting for the beginning of Ramadan is among recommended actions.
According to some hadiths, Ramadan is always 30 days and it will never be less. Some early scholars believed in those hadiths. However, there are some other hadiths which say that like other months, Ramadan's length is changing and it can be 29 or 30 days. Most Islamic authorities believe in these hadiths.
- Main article: Fasting
Fasting (or Sawm) is one of the most important acts of worship in Islam, which is literally defined as to abstain "completely" from foods, drinks, etc., before the break of the dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year. It's an obligatory task for every Muslim to fast all days of Ramadan, except the ones with accepted excuses such as not being able to fast because of some illness or pregnancy, or being on travel. Beside not eating and drinking, there are also some others necessities for a true fasting, such as abstention from sins.
Some practices are common practices and are recommended for all days of Ramadan and there are some practices for certain days.
The following are among common practices in this month:
- Reciting the Qur'an: best practice in days and nights of Ramadan is reciting the Qur'an. The reward for reciting one verse of the Qur'an in this month equals the reward for reciting the whole Qur'an in other months. It is among Muslims' traditions to recite one Juz' of the Qur'an every day in this month.
- Reciting al-Sahar supplication
- Reciting Supplication of Abu Hamza al-Thumali at Sahar before dawn
- Giving Iftiar meal to people; It is mentioned in hadiths that the reward for giving Iftar to people is more than fasting of the giver
- Reciting al-Iftitah supplication every night
- Reciting al-Hajj supplication every night
Special Practices for Certain Days
There are special practices recommended for some days and nights of Ramadan such as;
- Reciting Du'a no. 43 of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya at the first night of Ramadan,
- Performing ghusl (ritual bath) on the first day and first night of Ramadan,
- Doing a two-rak'as prayer on the 13th night of the month which is the first night of Ayyam al-Bid so that in every rak'a, after reciting Sura al-Fatiha, the three Suras of Yasin, al-Mulk and al-Tawhid should be recited,
- Special practices for the three Nights of Qadr
- I'tikaf in the last ten days of the month
- Reciting Sura al-An'am, Kahf and Yasin in the last night of the Month
- Demise of Lady Khadija (a) (Ramadan 10, 3 BH/May 4, 619)
- Birthday of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (a) (Ramadan 15, 3/March 4, 625)
- Al-Qadr Night, the night in which the Qur'an was sent down completely (night of 19th, 21st, or 23rd of Ramadan 13 BH/609)
- Conquest of Mecca (Ramadan 20, 8/January 14, 630)
- Martyrdom of Imam 'Ali (a) (Ramadan 21, 40/January 31, 661)
- Main article: Al-Quds Day
Al-Quds Day takes place every year on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan. Soon after the Islamic revolution in Iran, Imam Khomeini called on Muslims to dedicate this day to demanding the rights of oppressed Muslims in Palestine. On this day, rallies are organized before the Friday Prayer to protest against the occupation of Palestine and the oppression of its people.
Since the end of Ramadan may vary from country to country, if the last day of Ramadan is a Friday or Saturday in Iran, al-Quds day will be held the week before. In some countries, due to lack of police authorization on Friday, the rally is made on another day or there is only permission for holding conferences on that day.
- Al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-dhahab, vol. 2, p. 189
- Al-Mustafawi, al-Tahqiq fi kalimat al-Qur'an al-karim, vol. 4, p. 243
- Riyshahri, Mizan al-hikma, num.7442
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- Riyshahri, Mizan al-hikma, num.7441
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- Riyshahri, Mizan al-hikma, num.7453
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- Riyshahri, Mizan al-hikma, num.7453
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- Fasting in Islam, Islamic Society of Rutgers University, Retrieved June 15, 2015
- Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p. 93.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from رمضان المبارک in Farsi Wikishia.
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